Site formation processes at three Viking Age farm middens in Skagafjörður, Iceland
Sawyer, Alicia Hart
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Archaeological sites are not static records of the past. They exist within a dynamic environment, and, as part of this environment, they undergo changes upon deposition. In order to make confident interpretations of past human behavior based on patterns observed in the archaeological record, it is first necessary to determine if these patterns were produced by human behavior or if they are the result of geogenic or biogenic process following burial. This investigation of site formation processes of farm middens at three Viking Age farms (Reynistaður, Stóra-Seyla and Syðra Skörðugil) in Skagafjörður, Northern Iceland, uses micromorphological analysis of thin sections to discern between cultural and natural processes which have contributed to the formation and preservation of the middens. My interpretations of the depositional and post-depositional processes of these three middens is based on micromorphological analysis of thin sections of 11 resin-impregnated intact sediment samples.